Gabe Galloway (b. Gabriel Benjamin Galloway, 1980) is an American attorney, artist, and activist living in Chicago. Galloway is primarily known as an advocate for prisoners in the American Midwest. He is also widely known as an educator and as a photographer working with processes that predate the Digital Age. Galloway's primary influences are various New Sincerity figures, such as the filmmaker Whit Stillman, Justice Armand Arabian, formerly of the Supreme Court of California, the photographers Kate O'Neill and Rik Garrett, the gallerist Anna Cerniglia, the novelist Irvine Welsh, the singer Tracy Thorn, and Jonathan Torrens, the actor. Galloway is a member of the I.W.W. #1. In 2019, Galloway ran as the first Socialist candidate for judge in Cook County, Illinois.
Early Life and Education
Gabe Galloway was born in Wilmington, Delaware, where he attended Wilmington Montessori School. He attended Meyzeek Middle School in Louisville, Kentucky in the early 1990's and attended high school in Crystal Lake, Illinois. He attended Coe College from 1998-2000 and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2002. He attended the University of Chicago Law School, graduating in 2005. In college, Galloway managed the radio station KCOE in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and booked concerts for the Wisconsin Union Directorate in Madison, Wisconsin in 2001-2002. He interviewed numerous artists, including world-famous MC Slick Rick while at UW. While in law school, Galloway obtained a provisional license to practice law as a student and volunteered as a public defender at the felony courts in Chicago. He also taught a law class to Chicago Public School students at Hubbard High School in West Lawn.
Career in Law and Art
Galloway is a community lawyer in Chicago. He has been named Chicago's Best Lawyer three times by the Chicago Reader. During his legal career in Chicago, Galloway rendered legal services to everyday people and local small business, not national or multi-national corporations. He represented workers such as Zenaida Perez and Sandra Brady; artists such as Steve Walters and Todd Diederich; small businesses like Cafe Mustache, Taco 'Bout It, Frank & Mary's, and Platform Coworking; inmates including Shaun Matz, Jackie Carter, Saundra Falls, and Jose Soto; bands Oozing Wound, Velorena, and others.
In 2004 Galloway volunteered for the Office of the Cook County Public Defender while still in law school. In compliance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 711, Galloway was issued a provisional law license and the public defender's office assigned him to a "drug room" at the felony courts at 26th Street. Galloway attended court hearings there regularly for one and one-half years, until his last semester in law school.
In 2006 Galloway represented Zenaida Perez, who had been sexually harassed at her workplace. Gabe forced a trial after the Defendant refused to sit for his deposition, and the case settled. Soon after, Galloway was one of the lawyers who represented Chicago police officer Sean Hallinan in a labor dispute with the FOP Lodge 9 in 2007.
In 2008, Galloway had Wisconsin federal judge John C. Shabaz reversed in two different felony drug cases in which Judge Shabaz had explicitly stated that the 100:1 rock-to-powder sentencing disparity in cocaine cases was Constitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court had recently stated the opposite. In the 2009 Seventh Circuit case United States v. Carson, Galloway argued that the court should adopt the rule that police officers should not be able to interrogate persons who are overdosing on drugs. In the 2009 Sixth Circuit case Norris v. Eicher, Galloway had the trial court reversed because the trial court on its own motion construed a civil case filed by a prisoner as a habeas corpus petition, in contravention of the habeas provision of the U.S. Constitution.
From 2012-2017 Galloway represented numerous Wisconsin state inmates in civil lawsuits against prison staff and took four such cases, including Matz v. Vandenbrook, Soto v. Kelley, Carter v. Wisconsin DOC, and Gressel v. Thorpe before federal juries. In the Carter case, the jury returned a verdict of liability against the prison staff for violations of inmate Jackie Carter's first amendment rights.
In 2017, Galloway represented Markham, Illinois firefighter Varriun Strickland, a member of the black nationalist group New Era Chicago, in a criminal case wherein Strickland was accused of several criminal offenses in connection with a community demonstration that Strickland helped organize. Galloway persuaded the prosecutors to drop all of the charges that had been brought against Strickland.
In 2018 Galloway represented the small business Platform Coworking which was being sued by Vermillion Wicker Park, a corporate developer that was building high rise luxury condominiums in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago. Galloway defeated Vermillion's motion for a TRO, then persuaded Vermillion to drop their civil suit against Platform Coworking after their witness refused to answer interrogatories or sit for his deposition.
Art Teaching and Art Praxis
Galloway taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 2012 to 2017. While on faculty at SAIC, Galloway received photographic training from the photographers Oli Rodriguez, Rik Garrett, Kate O'Neill, and Mayumi Lake under the supervision of Barbara DeGenevieve and Robert Clarke Davis. In the early 2010's Galloway showed photographic work in the Logan Square Arts Festival and in two solo shows at the Handlebar in Chicago's Wicker Park. He was named President of Latitude, a community digital lab, during that time. There he worked alongside photographers such as Marzena Abrahamik and Molly Brandt. Galloway's most widely-known photographic work is Untitled from the Camera Club Project, which has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago since 2016. Several pieces from that project are also in the collection of Chicago's The Leather Archives. But ultimately, Galloway's photography praxis has mainly involved traditional black and white film photography, i.e. darkroom work. The majority of his photography done in Chicago consists of 5x7 prints hand printed in a darkroom on fiber-based photo paper. In his art praxis, Galloway is presently focusing on his Auld Pash Project and the Poison Project, both of which utilize traditional black and white darkroom photographic processes to achieve starkly unusual results.
As an artist, Galloway is perceived as a rule-breaker, and his photography consistently subverts the accepted norms and expectations of fine art photography in the 21st Century. Galloway's artistic output is routinely critiqued as being intransigently low-brow, and even as being "completely artless," or "not art." Galloway, himself, has welcomed this line of criticism, pointing out that his creative work has always been informed by the DIY-punk movement, the No Wave movement, by folk art, and by outsider art. Some of Galloway's diaries from his teenage years have fetched high values on the secondary market.
Media and Notoriety
Galloway is a well-known fixture in Chicago, where he is known as a civil rights and community lawyer and as an artist, as well as in South-Central Wisconsin, where he is known as a particularly vociferous advocate of Wisconsin DOC inmates. In Chicago he often observed at places like Best Intentions, Cafe Mustache, Longman & Eagle, Parson's, the Dill Pickle Food Co-op, and at other local establishments. In Wisconsin, Galloway is known to frequent old-fashioned supper clubs like Ishnala and the Tornado Room. Galloway is frequently seen wearing affects favored by his Texan family, for instance ranch wear such as duck boots, bolo ties, and Resistol brand western hats.
Galloway's client list includes many persons who are fixtures of Chicago nightlife, such as DJs, bartenders, night club owners, musicians, and other stage performers. Galloway has been interviewed extensively for blogs, internet magazines, youtube shows, podcasts, and other news outlets. He is a regular commentator on Voice Of America, especially on its Russian-language platform. In December 2019 Galloway appeared on Voice Of America and stated that he believed that "Absolutely no one would benefit," if Trump's Justice Department succeeds in reinstating the death penalty for federal prisoners. For a time Galloway published his own podcast, The Official Podcast, with fellow-Chicagoan James R. King. Galloway is sometimes referred to in the media as "the Mayor of Logan Square," or "America's Neighborhood Lawyer." He had been named Chicago's Best Lawyer three times by the Chicago Reader, most recently in 2017.
Gabe Galloway has been active in many Chicago community groups including The Dill Pickle Food Co-op, the Wasteshed, Latitude, The National Lawyer's Guild, Lambda Legal, and Chicago Theatre Workshop. He is a member of the I.W.W. Local #1 and The Mencken Society of Baltimore. Galloway phone-banked for Barack Obama's first campaign for President in 2008 and donated food to Occupy protesters in 2011. In 2010, Galloway founded a charity group that donated books to prison libraries. When the Occupy Movement occupied the financial district in Chicago, Galloway donated food and tobacco to the Occupy Protesters. He also supported Occupy in Cleveland, Ohio. In the Fall of 2019, Galloway joined a union and went on strike with the AFL-CIO Chicago Teachers Union and with the UAW. In Winter 2019, Galloway went on record with the National Labor Relations Board, saying that he had experienced discrimination at the Dill Pickle Food Co-op based on his union membership and labor organizing activities. Galloway ran for judge in Cook County in the 2019-2020 election cycle as a Socialist candidate, but was kept off the ballot.
Campaign for Judge
Galloway announced a campaign for Cook County Judge in July 2019. He ran in the 6th judicial subcircuit, a relatively obscure micro-jurisdiction on Chicago's Northwest Side. Galloway ran for judge as an openly Socialist candidate, perhaps the first serious judicial candidate in Chicago history to declare himself to be Socialist. His campaign has consisted largely of culture-jamming type media, such as posters that riff on pop culture iconography such as monster movies, Hollywood starlets, and text and images drawn from cut-up magazines. A large amount of his public statements or policy-related remarks during his campaign have been on social media, including Twitter. The biggest supporters of Galloway's judicial campaign came local establishments such as Best Intentions and Cafe Mustache, and from Twitter users such as the novelist Irvine Welsh. In late November 2019 Galloway submitted hundreds of signatures to the Illinois state Board of Elections in order to have his name placed on the ballot in the race for Cook County Judge. In February, 2020 Galloway's campaign announced that despite their efforts, The Chicago Board of Elections would not be including his name on the ballot, nor would the Board of Elections be counting any write-in votes for Galloway in the March 17, 2020 primary election. Galloway stated on social media that he would be running for office again in a subsequent election cycle.
Some critics of Gabe Galloway characterize him as being merely a rabble-rouser. And his use of Twitter from 2015-present does show a somewhat reckless level of "culture-jamming." For instance, his repeated use of the epithet "Dictator Donnie" to refer to President Donald J. Trump, his repeated questioning of U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan's religious faith throughout 2016, or his outright antagonism of the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson throughout 2019. He is known to display Palestinian flags alongside Irish flags, which some sources have reported to cause confusion in Chicago. His self-characterization as Mormon (or LDS) on social media has been questioned even by people who know Galloway personally.
Although he was born in Delaware and educated in Wisconsin and in Illinois, Galloway considers himself to be an Ohioan. His family lived in Lake County, Ohio in the Cleveland metro area while Galloway was in college and law school. In sports, Galloway supports the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers, in addition to the Chicago Blackhawks and Hibernian F. C. of Leith, Scotland.
Galloway was named a Principal of the Cleveland Orchestra in 2011 while residing in Chicago.
He attends Minnekirken, the Norwegian-language church in Logan Square, Chicago. He has been connected romantically to several women, including various intellectuals and artists.
Sayings and Aphorisms
Gabe Galloway is known both in his law practice and in his public persona as being a pithy or laconic speaker. Some of his more well-known statements are these:
"As an elder Millennial, believe me, I have been waging a war on Christmas AND consumerism my entire adult life by buying almost nothing." (About Christmas and consumerism in US society)
"They are now the Anti-transparency Party and nothing else." (On the Republican Party's antagonism of Chelsea Manning)
"Being an urban Socialist who likes spending his evenings repairing CB radio equipment turns up some really interesting youtube content." (On being a Socialist who has friends who are Libertarian)
"Die on the job at 84 years old with $700,000.00 in student loan debt and no assets." (On Millennial retirement plans)
"Campaigning in Chicago: It rains, so you can't post flyers. The rain stops. When it is finally dry, you go out in the almost unbearable heat and post flyers. Then it rains the next day all of over your nice, new, paper flyers." (On campaigning for public office as an outsider candidate in Chicago)
"These police, they knew what upset his stomach; they say that there was cocaine and heroin in the room; they saw that he and his companion...What I am saying is that people who have overdosed on heroin, and need medical attention, should not be Mirandized." (To Judge Richard Posner of the U.S Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit at oral argument in United States v. Carson, a 2008 case where Posner stated at oral argument: "Are you saying that the officer's testimony can't be believed..because (your client) had an upset stomach?".
"I did not grow up poor. I grew up extremely privileged in a society in which I have basically all of the advantages. But I am still a committed Socialist. I am not a Socialist because it is in my interest to be a Socialist. I am a Socialist because I believe in Socialism."
"Gabe Galloway is a complex man. We are often asked, 'What makes Gabe tick?' We will tell you: His Minolta Talker; His prison-issue jeans; His Herbie Fully Loaded DVD; His AM/FM Radio; His copy of the Doctrine & Covenants; His union card. In a World with no easy answers, choose a candidate who stands apart." (From a campaign poster for Galloway's 2019 campaign for Cook County Judge)
"If everybody puts in and donates $100, then Rand Paul can finally pay to renew his dentists license because he's def not a quack!" (On Rand Paul crowdfunding to "defeat Socialism")
"To everyone telling me I need to distinguish between #Socialism and #Communism: u need to remember that ppl have been calling me a "Commie" since 1994 (mainly teachers and youth pastors and other adults btw). I wear it as a badge of honor. If u don't know ur own history, fuck off.." (On the most-common criticism that he gets on the campaign trail: that Socialism is somehow just like Soviet-style Communism)
- "About this election". The Committee to Elect Gabe Galloway. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- Drake, Michael (Fall 2019). "Profile: Gabe Galloway and Judicial Elections". The Decisive Utterance. 57:1.
- "Gabe Galloway's Public Domain Primer". Gabe Galloway's Public Domain Primer. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- "Best lawyer". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2019-10-13.
- "Perez v. Globe Ground North America, LLC :: Illinois Northern District Court :: Federal Court Proceeding No. 05 C 3549". www.plainsite.org. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- "U.S. v. CARSON | 582 F.3d 827 (2009) | 20091006143 | Leagle.com". Leagle. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- "Norris v. Eicher". Sixth Circuit. 07-2419. October 16, 2009.
- Jackie Carter v. Dylan Radtke, 10-510 (W.D.Wisconsin), jury verdict form, completed by jury foreman.
- Vermilion Wicker Park v. Platform Coworking, #2018 CH 3522, dismissal order, entered March 5, 2019.
- "Untitled From The Camera Club Project". The Art Institute of Chicago. Retrieved 2019-10-13.
- The Chicago Reader, "Chicago's Best Lawyer" 2017.
- "Meet the Staff". LATITUDE Chicago. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- "About Us". Chicago Theatre Workshop. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- "Gabe Galloway | LoganSquarist". logansquarist.com. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
- Alex Yanevsky, Project I AM: Gabe Galloway: I am a prisoners' rights advocate., retrieved 2019-10-14
- Galloway, Gabriel. Charge for unfair labor pactices against Dill Pickle Food Co-op, submitted to NLRB on 12-31-19.
- "r/socialism - Socialist candidate running for judge in Chicago". reddit. Retrieved 2019-10-15.
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